Buy Now Pay Later: What's Your Experience?

Hi there!
Buy Now, Pay Later apps have become all the rage the past few years, especially since the pandemic.
What’s your experience been like with these apps? Have often do you use this option at checkout and have you run into any issues?

I’ve used the Pay in 4 through PayPal a couple times myself. I never take out more than one BNPL loan at a time because I’m worried about the payments stacking up and getting out of control. But some of my friends swear by it.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Thank you :blush: for sharing I love :heart: learning from this great community

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I have not used those, but have been tempted! I have Pay Pal and love that.
What is the difference between a BNPL and a credit card?

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I have only been tempted so far. But I figure if I can’t afford it outright, I should just wait. I also still use credit cards and pay them off to earn the rewards points. Of course that can lead to some cc debt if you’re not careful!

@kellyfromkeene I think the main difference is a BNPL is usually broken down into several smaller, interest free payments over the course of a few months. Correct me if I’m wrong, @rachel.christian!

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So there’s a few differences between buy now, pay later services and credit cards @kellyfromkeene.
First, most BNPL comapnies don’t report data in a consistent way to the credit reporting bureaus. This means paying on-time won’t boost your credit score the way timely credit card payments do.
And since it doesn’t show up on a credit report (unless you miss a payment and it goes to collections) there’s no way for other lenders to know how much debt you’re really carrying. You could get approved for a car loan or a new credit card for example, and still have multiple BNPL coming due soon.
It’s easy to fall prey to loan stacking, or the practice of taking out multiple BNPL loans from multiple providers in a short time. It’s harder to keep track of so many automatic withdrawals from various companies.
Also, BNPL providers are mostly Fintech companies, not financial institutions, so they’re not subject to the same regulations as credit card companies.
This can cause headaches for consumers, including:

  • A lack of standardized fees, interest rates and payment terms disclosures.
  • Little if any dispute resolution rights for consumers.
  • A forced opt-in to autopay.
  • Companies that charge multiple late fees on the same missed payment.

I’m currently writing an article on this which lays out some of the other major pitfalls of BNPL. It’s been fascinating (and scary!) to learn about.

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Oh wow, that is INTERESTING- I had no idea that it wasn’t reported. Thank you for that information!

I have experience with this.

When my credit was bad and I needed or wanted something expensive. I would often go to QVC or HSN and find the item I wanted and buy it on their payment plan. Usually 6 equal payments, it is how I got my laptop and my DYSON vacuum cleaner. It allowed me to get it immediately and spread out the payments.

It is a great option, not always the cheapest price, but you can get it now and make payments.

I have also done no payments until this date. Those are really good as long as you DO NOT MISS THE DATE and PAY IN FULL by the date.

There is no payments or interest until that date, but if not paid in full by the date, you are charged interest from date of purchase which can be a lot. So if you can PAY IN FULL by the date.

If not, you can wait often a year or more to start payments BUT you will be hit with all that interest from date of purchase.

Now if it is a CREDIT CARD that has no interest for 15 months then of course you will have payments but no interest. I usually take advantage of these to make a large purchase and not pay interest on it.

Just be careful but you can use these offers to stretch your paychecks and still have the things you want now. Just find out the details and put reminders on your phone or calendar so you don’t miss the pay off dates.

Hope this helps a little.

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Usually the BNPL deals are basically you buy now, and if you PAY IT IN FULL before the date your in good shape.

If you do not PAY IT IN FULL by that date, you will then have payments AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED INTEREST FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASE which can be hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest alone.

So unless you can PAY IN FULL by the date, or pay payments and have it paid in full by the date, you will get hit hard with interest.

As the other person said, these are not regulated well and often interest rates are 35% or more. People don’t realize the interest starts when you buy it and accumulates and if not paid in FULL by the date, all that interest is added on.

This applies to a lot of credit cards also. If you have a store card that gives you 12 months no interest on a large purchase. Many, not always, if that is not paid off you get hit with interest all the way back to date of sale.

I bought a living room furniture set on a BNPL deal, I had it all paid off except $75 dollars and the date passed, my balance went from $75 dollars to over $1000 because all the interest was added on and they refused to remove it.

So just read the fine print.

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I have clients who use them regularly, some that even offer 0% interest and from what I can tell seem true to their word. The fine print comes into play if something should happen causing you to be late or unable to pay. That’s the biggest risk I see which is that you’re still obligated for these payments into the future so in the event of a job loss or injury/illness you get to see the fees and penalties imposed.

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I mostly use Affirm and Afterpay for fun purchases and airline tickets, so I dont have to grab a credit card and keep my debit card safe. I usually pay early once I’ve decided to keep the item (I’m a serial returner). The apps are easy to use and you can manage purchases and balances as well.

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I like BNPL . Buy now pay later helps me get what I want or need with out putting it on a credit card. It is a smart move I think as it has no interest . Just make sure that you can make and afford the upcoming payments. Like everything do your homework and your research. Anything that helps me stay a wat from using a credit card is fine with me.

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rachel.christian thanks for sharing

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I like using buy now pay later. If you are able to afford the payments. It is better than credit cards as they charge no interest.

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I have used the BNPL services at several sites—Pay Pal, Klarna, and Afterpay. They remind me of the old style layaway plans if done right and you don’t get added fees like interest if you realize that you are merely spreading out the cost from an upfront payment to a few smaller payments. You still have to budget that cost to meet the payments without throwing your budget out of whack.
I am in the midst of paying debt off using the snowball method ( in other words, one debt at a time until I eliminate it completely). I don’t have ways in my budget to eliminate necessity bills ( rent utilities etc) but I do manage to pay all my bills and each year I eliminate one more debt payment. But sometimes I need/or want something and don’t want to buy it using credit but I don’t have the immediate funds to buy it immediately so I will use one of BNPL to make the purchase. Personally I have used the PayPal in 4 more than the others mentioned because I can control and change if needed where the payment comes from directly immediately. Having no interest charge is also a big plus. I do stress that you need to know exactly what flex funds you do have in your budget to use these payments methods wisely because if you don’t have the funds to pay when due you are going to pay a lot more than just an interest charge if you miss the payments owed. Do not use these BNPL if you are just a buy and not pay your scheduled payment person, as this only works well for you if you know your limits.

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Thanks for sharing and educating! I have not used BNPL, although it has been tempting to click that button. I like how there’s no interest if paid in full my the due date. One of my best friends loves BNPL. I’m just worried I’ll get sucked in and accumulate too many loans!

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want to through this at every one. Have you ever heard of Rent To Own ??? i used them when my husband and i needed to get a new living room set, and no credit it went well i know i paid more then what it was in the stores but it worked for me

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Well I have used a couple of times. I first one I used. I had to pay every 2 weeks. I didn’t like that too much. But I used it a couple more times. Now that I have paid everything on time and in full. They have given me a limit I can spend and pay monthly. I have and don’t plan on using it. That would put me in a whole that I don’t want. But it was good for the time.

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I’ve used Paypal’s pay in 4 - so buy now, pay over time. I really like this feature. I haven’t used some of the others like Klarna, but I hear mixed reviews about them.

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So great seeing you back on the community site, @charlie07! What was the name of the BNPL service you used?

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